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Ferd Berfel

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Member since: Sat Jan 3, 2015, 12:39 PM
Number of posts: 3,687

Journal Archives

NYTimes Tries to Bury Bernie with Biased Reporting re; Thursday’s Clinton-Sanders Debate

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/new-york-times-tries-bury-bernie-biased-reporting-about-thursdays-clinton-sanders


New York Times Tries to Bury Bernie with Biased Reporting About Thursday’s Clinton-Sanders Debate
It is astonishing how brazen the Times has become in flaunting its bias.


It is astonishing how brazen the NY Times has become in flaunting its bias against Bernie Sanders – not just in its editorials, but in its so-called “objective” news coverage.

For example, look at its lead story about Thursday night’s Clinton-Sanders debate.

The first paragraph instantly sets the tone. Sanders, says the Times, “savaged” Mrs Clinton, who then “countered with steely confidence.” Oh, please.

(Snip)
See the national poll results for Trump vs Sanders here. (at link)

See the national poll results for Trump vs Clinton here.
(at link)

Why the Contest Between Hillary and Bernie Is Such a Big Deal for the Future of Our Economy

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/why-contest-between-hillary-and-bernie-such-big-deal-future-our-economy

Only one candidate is challenging our economy's 40-year neo-liberal dystopia.


Tension are flaring as the New York primary approaches. The candidates are getting tough with each other and their supporters are getting even tougher.

But is the fighting really that warranted? Is there something at stake that runs deeper than personality differences, the first women president, Clinton fatigue, or pie-in-the-sky Bernie? Since both candidates are so much better than the Republican crazies, does it really matter all that much whether Hillary or Bernie gets the nod? Yes, it matters.

We are witnessing the first campaign since 1933 that directly challenges the essential features of our economy. We are now living through a 40-year neo-liberal dystopia. Finally it is under assault. Any objective observer would note that Hillary operates within that neo-liberal order while Bernie is its attacker.

------------------

The US Middle-class AND democracy cannot survive the neocon status quo. We change now, or......

The Banks Are Coming for Your Savings and Digital Money Is Going to Make It Easier

http://www.alternet.org/economy/banks-are-coming-your-savings-and-digital-money-going-make-it-easier

Ellen Brown -

The bombshell publication of the "Panama Papers" has triggered both outrage and skepticism.

Exposing tax dodgers is a worthy endeavor, but the “limited hangout” of the Panama Papers may have less noble ends, dovetailing with the War on Cash and the imminent threat of massive bail-ins of depositor funds.

The bombshell publication of the “Panama Papers,” leaked from a Panama law firm specializing in shell companies, has triggered both outrage and skepticism. In an April 3 article titled “Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak,” UK blogger Craig Murray writes that the whistleblower no doubt had good intentions; but he made the mistake of leaking his 11.5 million documents to the corporate-controlled Western media, which released only those few documents incriminating opponents of Western financial interests. Murray writes:

Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

Expect hits at Russia, Iran and Syria and some tiny “balancing” western country like Iceland.

Iceland, of course, was the only country to refuse to bail out its banks, instead throwing its offending bankers in jail.

(snip)

Postscript: Bail-ins under the new 2016 European Recovery and Resolution Directive began officially today, April 10, in Austria. Ominously, it was in Austria that a major bank bankruptcy triggered the Great Depression in 1931.

Bernie Sanders vs. the Plutocracy: Why General Electric's CEO Is Lashing out at the Democratic Soci

Bernie is IN the fight.

Link at Salon


Sanders has taken GE to task for its anti-middle-class machinations. His message is too important to ignore.


Last week, following comments from Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) on how corporate greed is destroying the moral fabric of America — in which he singled out General Electric, a company that is known for employing the best accountants money can buy to avoid paying taxes — GE CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt wrote an impulsive editorial for the Washington Post defending his company’s honor and lambasting the senator, who has been on a winning streak for the past three weeks.

Immelt wrote:

“GE has been in business for 124 years, and we’ve never been a big hit with socialists. We create wealth and jobs, instead of just calling for them in speeches. We take risks, invest, innovate and produce in ways that today sustain 125,000 U.S. jobs…It’s easy to make hollow campaign promises and take cheap shots in speeches and during editorial board sessions, but U.S. companies have to deliver for their employees, customers and shareholders every day.”

Immelt, who earned a sweet $37.25 million in 2014, is obviously not a huge fan of the whole political revolution thing. On taxes, he writes that GE pays “billions,” and that the tax system “isn’t designed for today’s economy.” While this may be true, he neglects to mention that GE itself has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the years on lobbying, particularly for tax legislation that benefited the company and allowed them to pay no federal taxes for various years, according to a Citizens for Tax Justice report. Immelt may be opposed to socialism, but certainly not socialism for the rich.

The Democrats Have No Soul: The Clintons, Neoliberalism and How the 'People's Party' Lost Its Way

http://www.salon.com/2016/04/12/the_democrats_have_no_soul_the_clintons_neoliberalism_and_how_the_peoples_party_lost_its_way/

Republicans never had one. That makes Democrats' betrayals, deceit and crisis of legitimacy that much more serious


Link


Looking beyond the daily tussle between Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party, or Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party, let’s consider the larger historical picture to see what the current election campaign tells us about the state of the two major political parties and their future.

Over the last forty years both major political parties have been in a state of terminal decline for a number of reasons, primarily the ideological contradictions each has developed quite in sync with the other, driven by the same economic trends. Both are in a death spiral at the moment, but this being America, where political accountability is not as rapid or conclusive as in Europe, it’s likely that they will continue in more or less their existing forms for the foreseeable future, further deepening the crisis of legitimacy. Whatever the realities about their loss of credibility, we are not likely to hear an announcement anytime soon that the Democratic or Republican parties are dead, having ceased to serve the respective functions for which they accumulated much legitimacy at different points in the twentieth century.

(snip)

It is noteworthy that a great many among America’s intellectual elite support Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, offering standard neoliberal justifications, whereas those outside elite intellectual circles are more likely to support Sanders; likewise with Trump and his antagonists and supporters. What the establishment will not do is take either of them seriously; meaning that they will not, as they haven’t for forty years, acknowledge the concerns of the constituencies they are supposed to represent, and direct the very real anxieties felt on all parts of the political spectrum toward positive resolutions good for the country and for the rest of the world.

'The Biggest Coal Giant Has Fallen': Peabody Files for Bankruptcy


Good for America, the Future and the Planet - bad for the employees



http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/04/13/biggest-coal-giant-has-fallen-peabody-files-bankruptcy

Activists say bankruptcy highlights need to transition away from fossil fuels


Coal giant Peabody Energy Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday, signaling what climate advocates hope is a death knell for dirty energy.

"Peabody Energy's bankruptcy is a harbinger of the end of the fossil fuel era," said Jenny Marienau, divestment campaign manager with the climate advocacy group 350.org.

With coal in decline since 2013, the company's financial collapse shows the need to transition into a clean energy future, the group said.

"Peabody is crashing because the company was unwilling to change with the times—they doubled down on the dirtiest of all fossil fuels, and investors backed their bet, as the world shifted away from fossil fuels," Marienau said.

The Welcome Rebellion in the Democratic Party

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/04/12/welcome-rebellion-democratic-party

by
Katrina vanden Heuvel


The political fallout from the Panama Papers has been felt throughout the world. So far, the trove of leaked documents has exposed shady financial activities involving powerful and wealthy figures such as British Prime Minister David Cameron, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s friends, Chinese actor Jackie Chan and Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi. The scandal even forced Iceland’s prime minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, to resign in disgrace.

In the United States, however, the reaction to the Panama Papers has been somewhat muted. No Americans have been implicated in the massive leak —not yet, at least — and the revelations, although tantalizing, have simply provided concrete evidence of something many already knew. Yet, while nobody should be surprised that the financial and political elite stash their wealth in offshore tax havens, the Panama Papers explicitly document the unfairness of a rigged system that deprives countries of the funds needed to make crucial public investments. That is particularly relevant at the current moment in U.S. politics.

Indeed, that fundamental unfairness is at the heart of the Democratic presidential race, which, last week, descended into petty bickering. In advance of the Wisconsin primary, in which voters handed insurgent candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) his sixth victory in seven contests (before his win in Wyoming over the weekend), front-runner and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton not so subtly suggested that Sanders had no business being in the race. “He’s a relatively new Democrat,” Clinton told Politico reporter Glenn Thrush, “and, in fact, I’m not even sure he is one.”

Sanders is the Most Liked Candidate, and His Popularity is Growing: Poll

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/04/12/sanders-most-liked-candidate-and-his-popularity-growing-poll

Survey finds 48 percent of Americans have favorable view of Sanders, contrasting with 55 percent who hold unfavorable view of rival Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders is the most-liked presidential candidate in the race—and the more people get to know him, the more they like him, according to a new poll out Tuesday.

The Associated Press-GfK survey found that 48 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of Sanders, compared with 39 percent who view him unfavorably, giving him the best "net-positive" rating in the field, and that his likeability score has increased since previous polls.

Sixty-one percent of registered voters said they would consider voting for him in November. Among Democrats alone, he has a 72 percent favorability rating.

Meanwhile, Sanders' Democratic rival Hillary Clinton got 55 percent unfavorability versus 40 percent favorability ratings among all survey respondents, and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump scored 69 unfavorability to 29 favorability. In addition, 51 percent of respondents said they would never vote for Clinton and 63 percent said the same of Trump.

Sanders Did Even Better in Colorado Than Reported, But No One Told Him

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/04/12/sanders-did-even-better-colorado-reported-no-one-told-him

Democratic Party officials let Hillary Clinton's campaign know five weeks ago, but kept Sanders in the dark

Bernie Sanders supporters cheered when their candidate won the Colorado caucuses by a sizeable margin—59 to 40 percentage points—on Super Tuesday last month, reportedly picking up 38 pledged delegates to rival Hillary Clinton's 28.

Now, they have more to celebrate. An apparent "error" on the part of that state's Democratic Party could widen that lead even further, the Denver Post has revealed, which would hand Sanders the Colorado delegation.

The Post reported Tuesday that the Colorado Democratic Party admitted this week to "misreporting" the March 1 caucus results from 10 precinct locations.

Adding to the controversy, the newspaper notes that the mistake "was shared with rival Hillary Clinton's campaign by party officials but kept from Sanders until the Post told his staff Monday night."

The Post reports:

The mistake is a minor shift with major implications. The new projection now shows the Vermont senator winning 39 delegates in Colorado, compared to 27 for Clinton.

Big Oil Is a Major Booster for Clinton’s Campaign

http://www.alternet.org/environment/big-oil-major-booster-clintons-campaign

Clinton is raking in millions from super PACs and fossil fuel lobbyists.



FAIR.org readers took action in response to “Did Sanders Lie About Clinton’s Oil Money? NPR Factchecker Can’t Be Bothered to Check” (4/1/16). They got a response from NPR ombud Elizabeth Jensen (4/5/16) and a do-over from NPR factchecker Peter Overby (4/6/16)—but NPR’s coverage still leaves a lot to be desired in terms of forthrightly addressing the issue of fossil-fuel funding in the Democratic presidential race.

In a column that addressed complaints about NPR’s Trump coverage, Jensen wrote:

My office has also received complaints from dozens of NPR.org readers, many spurred on by a report from FAIR.org, about a “Fact Check” by NPR’s Peter Overby. That piece stemmed from a spat between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton over donations from the fossil fuel industry.

The readers were unhappy that Overby checked out direct donations to each campaign from oil and gas company employees, but did not include those from “lobbyists with fossil-fuel clients,” or money donated to Clinton’s super PAC. (Sanders does not have a super PAC.) Candidates are prohibited by law from coordinating with super PACs that support them, so one could make an argument for that decision.

(snip)

He adds that “there’s a catch or two”: This represents “less than 6 percent” of the money Priorities USA has raised, and the super PAC has spent “not a penny on ads attacking Sanders.” What bearing this has on the question of whether Clinton is influenced by fossil-fuel money is not obviously clear.
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